Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don’t care, I’m still free
You can’t take the sky from me.
Take me out to the black
Tell ’em I ain’t comin’ back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can’t take the sky from me.
This has become a pop culture hit, Fox cancelled the series after only one season. But it gained a following and Joss Whedon fought to bring it back as a feature film. Now, I did not watch it when it originally aired; I came to it one evening at a friend’s apartment in college and saw the second season. At the end, I asked about another season and found out there was only the one, but I did track down the movie. It’s a mixture of Western and science-fiction; Whedon explains that humans left Earth, found another galaxy and terra-formed the planets to support life and America and China, being the two big superpowers, melded to form one culture. So yes, you have space ships and laser pistols, but you also have horses and regular pistols.
The show follows the tales of the crew of the Firefly-class ship named Serenity. Captained by Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds (played by Nathan Fillion, a self-proclaimed geek who later starred in ABC’s Castle drama [it’s excellent, check it out and he even brought back his Browncoat costume in a Halloween episode]), he brings aboard his former cohort Zoë (Gina Torres; she’s actually appeared in the Matrix movies and has gone on to the series Suits and other television series, including a few voice acting roles like in Star Wars: Rebels) to be his first mate. Piloting the ship is Hoban “Wash” Washburne (the ever-hilarious Alan Tudyk from Knight’s Tale and recently voicing secondary characters in Rogue One and Moana), who has married Zoë. Inara Serra (Morena Baccarin; she’s appeared in V on ABC and is in both Deadpool films) is a registered Companion on board who uses Serenity to provide services to far-off clients. Jayne Cobb (Adam Baldwin, no, he’s not one of the big-name Baldwin brothers, but he did show up in two episodes of Castle and even an episode of JAG and NCIS) is their onboard mercenary, good with a pistol, not so good with manners. Kaywinnit Lee “Kaylee” Frye (Jewel Staite, a lot of guest appearances, even on Castle and part of Stargate: Atlantis) is the cheerful and brilliant mechanic who keeps the ship in the sky. Shepherd Derrial Book (Ron Glass; he sadly passed away in 2016, he has a filmography back to the seventies) joins as a passenger and occasionally disagrees with Captain Reynolds in regards to religion. And Dr. Simon Tam (Sean Maher; he’s voiced Nightwing/Dick Grayson in several recent shows and movies) and his younger sister, River (Summer Glau, well known for Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles [which I don’t intend to watch], she made an appearance on Castle as well, Hawaii Five-0 and Big Band Theory, and she was even in an Hallmark Christmas movie, Help for the Holidays [it’s adorable]) round out the crew.
Now, apparently, the show was aired out of order due to Fox executive meddling, but the DVD released them in the correct order. We start the show off with a two-part opener: Serenity. There was a civil war in this galaxy [Whedon was influenced by Jeff Shaara’s Killer Angels novel, also the basis for the film Gettysburg], between the Alliance and the Independents, or Browncoats. Mal and Zoe fought for the Independents and it came to a head at the Battle of Serenity Valley. The Independents are desperate for air support, but it never comes. Orders come in for them to lay down arms. It killed Mal’s sense of faith and nearly killed his spirit. But six years later, he’s doing odd jobs to keep flying and keep out of the Alliance’s way, so sticking to the Rim worlds. We catch up to the crew pulling an illegal salvage job; and Wash plays with dinosaurs: “We shall call it, this land.” “I think we should call it your gave!” “Ah, curse your sudden, but inevitable betrayal!” “Now die!” But he gets it in gear to put out a distraction to save his cohorts. They make their way to Persephone to finish the deal, the captain remarking “there is no power in the ‘verse to keep Kaylee from being cheerful” [and why my friends remark I am most like Kaylee]. They meet with local “businessman” (use that term loosely) Badger (played by Mark Sheppard, who has been in several geeky shows, including Supernatural as Crowley, Doctor Who as Canton Everett Delaware III [he plays a Brit in an American show and an American in a British show], as well as X-Files, Battlestar Galactica, NCIS, Star Trek: Voyager, Charmed and many others) to complete the deal, but he weasels himself out. The goods they stole are marked and that makes it difficult to unload. So, they’ll try Patience on another planet, and hope she doesn’t shoot the captain again. But, they need legitimate business as well and take on passengers, including Sheppard Book, Dr. Tam, and Dobson.
Makes things a bit interesting for the crew and Mal informs Zoe “if anyone gets nosy, just shoot them…politely.” Shooting happens, but only after Mal has figured out one of their passengers hailed the Alliance. He thinks it is Simon, but it’s actually Dobson, who shoots Kaylee when she surprises him. Simon won’t treat Kaylee unless the ship runs; he does not want the Alliance onboard either. Mal helps Simon, then opens his special box in the hold and discovers a young woman curled up inside. This is River, Simon’s younger sister that he broke out of an Alliance facility because they were hurting her for her intelligence. Captain has to continue with the job and isn’t dumb enough to not realize that Patience will set up an ambush. There’s a shoot out, but he gets his money. That’s how things are supposed to work; “I do the job and then I get paid.” He comes back to the ship to discover Dobson is free and threatening River. Mal shoots the federal agent and tosses him off his ship. They also have to run from Reavers, dangerous people on the verge of being creatures that has the whole universe terrified. Wash pulls a Crazy Ivan [remember that term from Hunt for Red October?], turning quickly and blowing the engines into their pursuers (Kaylee is fixed up enough to help out). Mal offers Simon and his sister a place on his ship; they’ll be safer on the run and the ship could use a doctor. And assures Simon he’s not the kind of man to kill another in his sleep. If he aims to kill you, you’ll be awake and armed. At the end of the day, Serenity is still flying. It’s not much, but it’s enough.
After a little trouble at a small bar, Mal and the rest of the crew are on their way to a new job. Inara holds Kaylee enthralled in her shuttle, brushing her hair and having some girl time, which Mal has to interrupt. While it is manly and impulsive, Inara’s request is that the captain does not march into her quarters. But he needs his mechanic, Mal requests, the engine room looks like terrifying space monkeys have been at it. Niska has a certain reputation [and seems to be the quintessential Russian-type villain] and wants the crew to pull a train heist. Easy enough it sounds. Until they discover there is a squadron of Alliance guards onboard. Just makes it more fun, Mal quips to Zoe. They complete their end of the job and unload the goods, only to discover once an investigation begins that it was medicine they stole, sorely needed in the backwoods town. Inara uses her respectability to get Mal and Zoe out of custody, but Mal now needs to plan how to return the medicine. Deep down, Malcolm Reynolds is a good and honorable man. Slight problem; Niska’s men have shown up. Jayne gets a lucky shot and Mal explains that they’ll return the money to Niska to square things away, but they won’t be delivering the stolen medicine. The first henchman disagrees and gets thrown through the engine. The second man hastily agrees and Mal and the crew get to be heroes for a second, giving the medicine to the sheriff under the cover of night.
Serenity comes upon a drifting ship in Bushwacked and receive more trouble than they intended. It looks deserted, which is a bit odd in the middle of space. Until they discover one man. Mal has him locked in the infirmary, surmising that the ship had been hit by Reavers. Then they run into an Alliance ship, hide Simon and River, and are detained and questioned (Wash’s interview is funny). The survivor begins to attack the Alliance crew and Mal finally gets the Alliance officer to help, even saving his life.
Shindig is one of my favorite episodes. Inara plans to meet with a regular client, Atherton Wing (played by Edward Atterton. He was much nicer as King Arthur in Mists of Avalon and then plays Mordaunt in Charmed and has a possible connection to Arthur. He also appeared in Man in the Iron Mask as a relative good guy). Mal meets up with Badger, who has another job for him; the sleaseball figures that Mal can cozy up to a potential client at a local party. It does give the captain a chance to apologize for accidentally insulting Kaylee earlier; she gets to wear the poufy dress she saw in a shop earlier and accompany him to the party. They run into Inara and while Kaylee gets surrounded by men to talk engines, Captain “Tightpants” dances with Inara, then gets in an argument with Atherton. Atherton challenges Malcolm to a duel, with swords. The client is impressed by Malcolm, but the captain has to survive first. Inara, as a trained Companion, has some knowledge with swords and helps her friend out, despite some disagreements. Mal has the bad habit of calling Inara a whore to her face, but took exception to Atherton’s mere implication. Well, Atherton was insulting Inara as a person, Mal explains. Atherton appears to have the upper hand, but Mal comes back after breaking his sword to beat Atherton; and Inara providing a distraction by appearing to take Atherton’s offer to exclusivity. Mal leaves Atherton breathing, which will bring the man shame. “Mercy is the mark of a great man,” and he stabs his opponent. “Guess I’m just a good man,” another stab. “Well, I’m alright.” Atherton tries to threaten Inara, but she points out guild law; Atherton is the one who will be blacklisted.
Now, the crew intended to mount a daring rescue, but Badger sits onboard to keep an eye on them. There is a humorous interaction between the man and River, who copies his accent. Then she sweeps by her brother, remarking “call me if anyone interesting shows up.” That would have worked as a distraction, but they missed their opportunity. Inara and Mal show up before the second plan can go into effect. And the cargo that the client wishes to offload? Cattle.
We get some flashbacks to the Tam siblings (young Simon is played by a young Zac Efron) when they were younger in Safe. The crew is unloading the cattle, after the captain warns Simon to keep his sister under control. Kaylee continues to be interested in Simon, who is a bit oblivious and demeaning. River wanders off and finds a wedding dance. She shows a bit of the girl that remains under the weird dreams and sayings. Then Simon is kidnapped. Unfortunately, things do not go smooth with the cattle transfer and Sheppard Book is shot in the ensuing confrontation. Serenity has to leave the Tams behind in order to save Book. They’re desperate enough to go to the Alliance for help, but it’s not until the officers see Book’s ID card that they agree to help, which is a bit suspicious. Back on the planet, Simon and River are taken to a hill village where Simon is to be the local doctor. River understands what Simon has given up to rescue her; a promising career, safety, wealth; all to save her. Simon unfortunately remembers their father essentially disinheriting him for attempting to rescue River. Their parents never suspected anything was wrong with the government school and their father was more concerned with their image, than helping either of his children. He bailed Simon out of trouble once, he vowed not to help again. Then a local woman declares River a witch for knowing what people were thinking. The town gets riled up and prepares to burn River at the stake. Simon climbs up with her, the ever-protecting big brother. Serenity appears in the sky and Mal and Zoe walk into town in the nick of time. What does that make them? Big damn heroes. River is their witch, so cut her down, he instructs the leader. He insists that they are part of the crew; it doesn’t matter if he necessarily likes them.
Mal dresses up as a woman to complete their next job in Our Mrs. Reynolds, telling their opponent, “I swear by my pretty floral bonnet, I will end you.” A celebration is thrown by the locals for their help and Jayne and Mal get pretty drunk. So the next morning when Mal discovers a young woman onboard, he’s a bit confused as to how she got there. And even more confused when she tells him they’re married. Book looks up the customs, and yes, they are technically married. He later warns Mal that if he takes advantage of Saffron, he will burn in the “special Hell, reserved for child molesters and those who talk at the theatre.” Jayne even offers Mal his prized gun, Vera, in exchange for Saffron. Mal firmly declines and shows himself to be a bit of a gentleman. He is certain he will be a bad husband and will not take advantage of Saffron and even advises her to toughen up. Turns out she didn’t need to toughen up; this was all a con to get the ship. She attempts to seduce Wash, who is loyal to Zoe, so she has to knock him out after she’s knocked out Mal. She gains control of the ship and steers it to salvagers before escaping. She almost has Inara fooled, but the Companion recognizes the training and goes after Mal. She passes out after kissing Mal’s lips. Luckily, Jayne and Vera manage to shoot out the net intended to hold them and Mal eventually tracks Saffron down to knock her out.
Jaynestown turns out to be a place where the people worship Jayne as a Robin Hood-type hero. He had pulled a job years back that resulted in him dumping the magistrate’s money into the town square. The locals are poor and dirty and suppressed, but the actions they viewed as heroic gave them the courage to stand up for themselves. Why, there’s even a ballad about “the hero of Canton/ the man they call Jayne!” [Captain Stout will sing the ballad, complete with the hat, at faire for Tyme Travellers weekend.] It does provide an excellent cover for the crew to steal what they need. And meanwhile, onboard Serenity, Book and River differ over the Bible and then River hides from Book once she sees his hair unbound…it really is hilarious. “Too much hair,” she moans to Zoe and almost doesn’t want to come out because “it’ll still be there, waiting.” And the magistrate in question had hired Inara to make his son into a man. Well, it worked. He stood up to his father and made sure Serenity could escape.
Odd as it may sound, I like Out of Gas. We get some back story on how the crew members ended up on Serenity. Mal bought her, on purpose, though Zoe wonders. Wash was brought on as a pilot and Zoe initially wonders at his mustache and they pinch Jayne from another gig, promising him better pay and his own rom. Kaylee wasn’t the first mechanic brought aboard, but she fixed the other mechanic’s problem despite having sex with the guy. But the main problem at present is an explosion in the engine. Zoe knocks Kaylee out of the way, but she’s hurt. And life support got knocked out. Despite some disagreements, Mal gets Wash to send out a distress beacon, then orders the rest of the passengers to split into the two shuttles. Mal will stay aboard incase their miracle comes. Inara tries to convince Mal that this isn’t the ancient sea, the captain doesn’t have to go down with the ship. And some stranger does come to the rescue, but they shoot Mal, obviously intending to take the ship as their own. Mal won’t let that happen; he orders them off his ship, but leave the part they need. He bleeds across the ship, putting the engine back to rights, then passing out right in front of the button Wash wired to bring the shuttles back. He wakes up to discover his crew disobeyed his orders and returned for him; very lucky for him. It’s just so sweet how they are all one big family.
Events almost come to a head on Ariel, a Central planet. River is getting worse, but Simon doesn’t have all the tools he needs in order to treat her. He comes to the crew with a job; sneak him and River into diagnostic room in the hospital. In exchange, he’ll tell them what drugs to take that will bring the most on the black market. And being a Central hospital, it will be re-stocked in a matter of hours, meaning no one should die from their theft. Wash and Kaylee get an ambulance up and running; Jayne, Mal, and Zoe will be the crew. They’ll take Simon and River in as corpses, then wake them up. Jayne is in charge of the siblings while Mal and Zoe do the thieving. Except, Jayne got stupid. He alerted the feds and changed the plan. They don’t show up for the pick-up. Instead, Jayne gets taken with the siblings and River has to get them away before worse men come. The “two by two, hands of blue,” men show up with blue gloves and sticks that resonate at a high frequency, causing blood to pour out of their victims. Mal figures out what Jayne tried to pull and has a discussion with him through the back door as they’re lifting off. Simon and River are part of Mal’s crew, so any betrayal against them is a betrayal against Mal. Jayne is a bit repentant and Mal doesn’t end up killing him. His final warning to Jayne is “if you want to stab me in the back, do it to my face.”
Niska returns in War Stories. Wash is getting concerned that there is more to the relationship between his wife and the captain than simple Army buddies. Wash and Zoe argue the fact while River and Kaylee chase each other like children in the cargo hold. “Ah, the pitter patter of tiny feet in huge combat boots,” Mal remarks. “Shut up! One of you is gonna fall and die and I’m not cleanin’ it up!” Wash claims that he can handle himself and decides to go on the drop with Mal instead of Zoe. Well, things don’t go smooth again and their contacts are killed and Mal and Wash are captured. Zoe, Jayne, and Book go to investigate when they’re late and Book proves he’s a strange Sheppard; he knows an awful lot about the Alliance and guns for a preacher. Meanwhile, Wash discusses the issue of his wife with Mal; he figures they’ve never slept together which is causing sexual tension. Mal points out one time that Zoe didn’t obey him; by marrying Wash. All the while, Niska is electrocuting the pair. Mal keeps Wash talking to keep him alert. Zoe plans to offer Niska a deal, all the money the crew can put together in exchange for their captain and pilot. Niska takes the money, but it’s only enough for one. Zoe immediately chooses her husband. Well, maybe more than one…Niska cuts off Mal’s ear. One of the few times you hear Mal scream. Wash insists they go back to rescue Mal. Zoe agrees and the two arm themselves. Jayne eventually agrees to come and even Book, Simon, and Kaylee gear up to save Mal. Book will stick to shooting kneecaps, the Bible is fuzzy on that subject.
Too bad Niska’s killed him; this is not the age for heroic men. He brings Mal back so he can prolong the torture. The three most experience enter the compound first. But Book and Simon have to soon follow them. Kaylee can’t; she’s scared. But men come towards the ship. River picks up the dropped gun, takes one look, then turns away and shoots each man once. “No power in the ‘verse can stop me.” Kaylee had used that line earlier, playing with River. Mal goes after Niska in all the commotion, but his henchman takes over. Niska escapes and Mal continues fighting, but he won’t say no to some help. Simon borrows a tool from Inara’s female counselor client in order to re-attach Mal’s ear.
Saffron pops back up in Trash, portraying the wife of an old friend’s of Mal. Mal is wise to her antics, but is still tempted by a high paying gig she has lined up. They’ll sneak in and steal the first laser pistol from a wealthy officer who certainly deserves to have the piece taken. Not everyone is keen on following “Yosaffbrig’s” plan, particularly Inara. But the crew gets the drop on Saffron. Inara was their back-up for when Saffron double-crossed them. She locks Saffron in the garbage bin for the feds to pick up. And River also knows what Jayne tried to do on Ariel, so when Simon has to patch up the mercenary, he promises that the man will always be safe from Simon; they’re on the same crew, so they gotta trust each other. Oh, and Saffron made Mal take off his clothes before leaving him stranded, so he gets to walk back on his ship proudly butt-naked.
The Message reunites Mal and Zoe with an old friend from their squadron, Tracey. Except Tracey is dead and shipped himself to Mal and Zoe. And Kaylee’s not speaking to Simon because he managed to put his foot in his mouth…again. But Tracey’s dead body brings a whole mess of trouble to Serenity’s crew. They need to know how the boy died. Except when Simon goes to do an autopsy, Tracey wakes up. He managed to fall in with the wrong crowd and tried to make big bucks carrying organs. Then he tried to double-cross those people, who are now after him. He just wants to make it home now, but he doesn’t trust the rest of the crew. Mal has a plan, but before he can enact it, Tracey gets trigger-happy and Zoe puts a bullet in Tracey. He manages to take Kaylee hostage, who has gotten sweet on him, but Jayne (who has gained a ‘cunning’ knitted cap from his mother) shoots him in a standoff. If the boy had waited a minute, Mal could have explained that Book realized the feds chasing them were far out of their jurisdiction, meaning this whole deal was off the records. But they do right by Tracey and take him to his parents for burial.
Inara’s friend, Nandi is in trouble in Heart of Gold. [And the above is my favorite quote.] The local leader, Rance Burgess (played by Fredric Lehne, the father-in-law in Greatest Showman, appeared in an episode of Castle as well, and big bad Azazel of the early seasons of Supernatural and many other guest appearances) is trying to claim an unborn child from one of Nandi’s girls…she does run a legitimate whorehouse. But Rance is cruel and could make a real difference in the town, but decides he likes to retain all the power. Mal agrees to meet the man, with Inara deigning to be on his arm, once he washes it. And he does not like what he sees; Rance is determined he is right and will use any justification. So Mal’s first plan is for everyone to run. But Nandi refuses. So, they’ll board up and fight. At this point, Zoe brings up to Wash that she wants a baby. Wash argues that it is a dangerous world to bring a helpless child into, but Zoe is adamant. That evening, the pregnant girl goes into labor and Nandi spends time with Mal. She finally kisses him and takes him to bed. Inara discovers it the next morning and is seemingly fine with it. With no puritanical view on sex, she doesn’t mind when her friends engage in it. But we see her crying later. And Nandi realizes what we all have been seeing for a while; Mal and Inara have feelings for each other, only they don’t recognize it. There’s no time to make up to each other; Rance and his men attack. Thanks to a traitor in the girls’ midst, Rance is able to get to the newborn baby. Inara holds a knife to his throat so he’ll give up the child, but he pushes her away, then shoots Nandi. Mal goes after Rance and punches him. The pregnant girl comes out with the baby and briefly introduces the boy to his father, then shoots Rance. The crew stays for the funeral and afterwards, Inara talks to Mal. Mal feels like he failed Nandi, but Inara comforts him. We think they will finally admit the truth, but instead, Inara announces she’s leaving.
Objects in Space rounds out the series. River walks about the ship and can’t help but hear everyone’s thoughts and be a bit disturbed by them. Then she thinks she’s found a stick, but it’s really a gun. Everyone freaks out, but Mal gets the gun off her. Kaylee finally admits what River did when they rescued Mal from Niska. Mal has his own theory; River is a Reader, a psychic. Everyone eventually goes to be a bit disgruntled. Then bounty hunter Jubal Early sneaks aboard Serenity. He knocks out Mal and locks the crews’ quarters. But Kaylee is in the engine room. She at least picks up a wrench for defense when she hears something, but he threatens to rape her if she makes a sound. (Oh yeah, he’s a creep and everyone pretty much hates him for making Kaylee cry). She has to tell him where Simon and River are. Jubal finds Book first and knocks him out, then finds Simon (shirtless), but no River. The creep tries to be philosophical and even mistakes Simon’s question on the Alliance for asking if Jubal is a lion. Simon puts up a bit of a fight, but Jubal threatens Kaylee again and forces Simon to help him look for River. He hits Inara when she tries to talk him out of his search.
Then we hear River over the speakers. She has become Serenity, because no one else wanted her. Jubal questions Simon, who quips “I can’t keep track of her when she not incorporeally possessing a ship…we had a complicated childhood.” Meanwhile, River comforts Kaylee and tells her she needs to be brave; then hatches a plan with Mal. River starts to get to Jubal, telling him he’s a liar and despite his supposed code, he likes causing people pain. Jubal finally figures out River is on his ship. But River agrees to go with Jubal, to save everyone else. Well, Simon’s not going to let his sister walk into danger, and tackles Jubal. He gets shot in the leg for his trouble, but still goes after the bounty hunter. Kaylee has managed to secretly unlock the dorms and Mal sneaks out. He’s waiting for Jubal when he leaves Serenity and punches him into space. Mal catches River on her way back and comments on her brother messing up their plan. It all ends happy with River and Kaylee hanging out.
The Big Damn Movie, Serenity gives a bit more of the back story of how everyone came to be in space, but it’s actually a memory’s of River. Well, not really; someone is watching a playback of how Simon broke River out. The Operative will be hunting them down and is not afraid to get messy, speaking of how some ancient cultures threw themselves on their swords when they failed. Serenity is still flying, though they may have an interesting landing, as in “oh god, oh god, we’re all gonna die.” Mal insists that he takes River on a robbery job; she may warn them of trouble. Simon is not pleased, but Mal is captain. River indeed senses trouble: Reavers. Our favorite crew escapes, but we also see that Mal has become a bit harsher in the time between the series and the film. Simon punches Mal for endangering his sister and declares they will be getting off at the next port. Kaylee is unhappy they’re leaving, but Mal has business to attend to. River wanders into the bar and a commercial on the television makes her attack everyone. She pulls a gun on Mal just as he pulls his pistol. A phrase from Simon knocks her out and it’s Mal who carries her back to the ship, to handcuff her. Simon finally reveals that he was warned this may happen and was given the safe phrase. But Mal suggests there is something going on, something to do with the Alliance. River had murmured “Miranda” before she went wild. (Unfortunately, the Operative has seen the same footage).
Wash suggests they go to Mr. Universe (David Krumholtz, Bernard from the first two Santa Clause movies) for information. The crew gets a little break, visiting Sheppard Book on Haven, then Mal has to go rescue Inara. He knows he’s walking into a trap, but he does it anyway. And the way he knows it’s a trap; he didn’t get into an argument with Inara. Inara is pretty handy when Mal attempts to take on the Operative and her incense is actually an explosion, allowing her and Mal and escape. Onboard Serenity, Jayne has let River out and she attacks him, then hits Simon. But she has discovered that “Miranda” is a planet. Unfortunately, Reaver territory lies between Haven and Miranda. When they hit planetside again, the colony is in flames. Mal gets one last conversation with Book before he dies. All of their friends have been hit; the Operative admits he is a monster, but it’s not his place to question why the Alliance has sent him after River. And now Mal’s mind is made up. They’ll disguise his ship in order to sneak through Reaver territory.
They make it through and discover the secret that River has been holding in her mind. The Alliance had added an element to the air on Miranda to make it peaceful, to stamp out aggression. A team investigated on why everyone had died. Well, all aggression and fight was gone from them; they just laid down and died. Barring one tenth of a percent of the population; it strengthened their aggression…turning them into Reavers. Well, Mal and the crew need to get this information out; someone has to speak for these people. Because one day, the powers that be will decide they can make people better. “So no more runnin’; I aim to misbehave.” They’ll go back to Mr. Universe. Sadly, the Operative has beat them there and there is an Alliance blockade between Serenity and their goal. Well, they’re ready for that and bring a whole Reaver contingent behind them. So the Alliance has to fight them instead of our heroes. Wash manages some fancy flying, “I’m a leaf on the wind, watch how I soar.” And he lands, destroying bits of Serenity in the process. Before we can cheer, he’s run through with a spear [Whedon is cruel!].
The rest of the crew will make their last stand to buy Mal time to get to the backup equipment. Kaylee even picks up a gun because now she’s got something to live for; Simon regrets never being with her. But Kaylee is injured, as is Zoe. They retreat a bit and then Simon is shot. River declares that he has always taken care of her, now it’s her turn. She sprints into the other room, tosses his medical bag in, but the door closes before she can make it back through. She’s now locked in a room full of Reavers.
The Operative has caught up to Mal and shot him, then tries to paralyze him so he can dispatch him with his sword. But Mal had taken shrapnel there during the more and that nerve cluster was moved, so he disables the Operative instead and slides his sword down so he can’t move. He inputs the message and sets it to broadcast. Mal finds his crew and the doors finally open to reveal that River has dispatched all the Reavers. The Alliance breaks in and asks for orders. The Operative finally tells them to stand down; “we’re finished.” The Operative lets the crew go, after everyone pitches in to repair Serenity. There is a memorial service for Mr. Universe, Book, and Wash. Kaylee and Simon ever get their time together (with River watching). The Operative cannot guarantee that the Alliance won’t eventually come after the crew; the regime may be weakened, but not gone, nor are they forgiving. He will disappear.
Happy news, Inara decides she won’t leave. Mal becomes the pilot and takes River as his copilot, nicknaming her “albatross.” The first rule of flying? Love.
I like Firefly; maybe not as much as some other series and movies, but it was fun to re-watch the series. I adore the family dynamics; Mal is certainly the father of the group, keeping an eye on everyone, protecting them. Zoe and Wash are adorable together; and Zoe is totally badass! Kaylee is fun, as is River, when her mind is kind to her. Summer Glau has a background as a ballerina, so she is naturally graceful, which is cool to watch in fight scenes and that’s how she’s able to do some interesting stunts. And it’s heartwarming how much Simon cares about his sister.
Honestly, not as fond of the movie. It’s filmed darker and doesn’t have the warmth visually in the shots that the series had. It is a logical progression from the show, but totally wish Whedon hadn’t killed Wash! I have heard there are comics that continue the story, but I have not read them. The encyclopedia is fairly interesting. And I absolutely love the bloopers! I will watch them over and over just for the laughs. The sarcastic quips are another great element of the show.
Of course, I have discovered some fanfiction stories related to Firefly:
The first was actually a huge crossover with the anime Zoids (the only anime I ever watched, I think it was on Cartoon Network when I was in high school). But totally check out Ancient Legacies by Dragon-Raptor.
And A.Windsor’s Pirate Children series can be a fun read (depends on the story, but warnings accompany the write-ups)
Up Next: We continue a little with the space theme and cover the new Star Trek movies.